What "bog" plants are easy to pull (when it's time to thin them)


Mmathis

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I just finished removing all of the plants in my small bog, and after some work on the water distribution system, am going to replant. Looking for replacement plants that are good filterers, but that don't INVADE the bog, and are easy to pull/thin. Any suggestions?
 

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Seems like every bog plant I have isn't so easy to remove. Getting plants out of gravel is more difficult than I expected. Blue Arrows Rush was a nightmare. Blue Flag Iris is sort of easy. You can cut pieces off to thin it. Still not sure if Sensitive Fern will be easy to remove when necessary, but I sure do love seeing it grow in the bog.
 

addy1

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Water willow, obedience plant, blue forget me not, water mint, all are pretty easy to pull.
Yellow flag iris a pita, same with rush. The gamecock iris purple, pretty easy.
 
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I was just going to say what @Meyer Jordan beat me to - the plants that are easy to pull are the shallow ones. The deeper rooted ones are valuable for just that reason - deeper roots! Keep up with them and they aren't horrible - turn your back, and you'll regret it!
 

Mmathis

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@Lisak1 I turned my back on 3 bunches of blue rush...... NEVER AGAIN!

The iris (various types) I had planted were pretty easy to pull. Most of the other plants I had had gotten their roots entwined with the blue rush, so I couldn't really tell if they were a problem themselves.
 

addy1

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The water willow makes a nice root mass. Like solid root fibers, but you can get it up with a bit of digging and yanking. To me hard to remove means using a pitchfork to get the suckers out, like the yellow flag iris.

I do a lot of thinning in the spring while all is small. Make the bog almost empty then let it regrow as summer keeps going.
 
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The water willow makes a nice root mass. Like solid root fibers, but you can get it up with a bit of digging and yanking. To me hard to remove means using a pitchfork to get the suckers out, like the yellow flag iris.

I do a lot of thinning in the spring while all is small. Make the bog almost empty then let it regrow as summer keeps going.
I think the water willow is so pretty, too! The thin leaves are a nice contrast to other large-leafed plants and the flowers are very delicate!
 

addy1

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I think the water willow is so pretty, too! The thin leaves are a nice contrast to other large-leafed plants and the flowers are very delicate!
I have it popping up in the stream, in the stream ponds, in the deck pond. Here and there, I let it grow. I did need to move some from the stream bed the roots were redirecting water flow.
 

Mmathis

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The water willow makes a nice root mass. Like solid root fibers, but you can get it up with a bit of digging and yanking. To me hard to remove means using a pitchfork to get the suckers out, like the yellow flag iris.
Addy, my definition of hard to remove, as well! In fact, I was so frustrated that I was almost to the point of sacrificing the liner -- not really, but you get the idea. My nemesis was that darn blue rush that I allowed to sit way longer than it should have!
I do a lot of thinning in the spring while all is small. Make the bog almost empty then let it regrow as summer keeps going.
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Part of my mistake was in NOT thinning out the rush on a regular basis. It was good to have it there for the turtles. And probably a reason I didn't thin it is that when the turtles come out in the spring, there isn't a lot of growth -- either with the regular plants or with the bog plants. The turts are vulnerable at that time and any plant cover is welcome for them. But I'll be more careful in the future and I'll stick a few artificial plants out if the turtles seem timid with lack of cover.
 

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The harder it is to pull, the more efficient it is at filtering. Easier to pull, less efficient.
Totally agree! However, a plant that forms a mass of closely entwined roots -- definitely not easy to remove, but how efficient is it as a filter? I think what I meant by easy to remove is summed up by @addy1 in post #7: needing a pitchfork to remove! I don't mind pulling, tugging, digging, and teasing out some roots. It's those "pitchfork plants" that I'm trying to avoid, LOL!
 
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What do you guys do to a bog in the spring exactly? You take out the plant and chop it in half or do you cut the root ends? I'm looking at my hardy hibiscus and yellow flag iris and I'm thinking they probably need trimming next spring.
 

Mmathis

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What do you guys do to a bog in the spring exactly? You take out the plant and chop it in half or do you cut the root ends? I'm looking at my hardy hibiscus and yellow flag iris and I'm thinking they probably need trimming next spring.
Usually, pull out excess plant growth. Some plants can be divided. I'm not sure about root-pruning for aquatic plants. But you do want to be sure your plants aren't "taking over the world" down under the gravel -- in that case you'll never get them out!
 

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Totally agree! However, a plant that forms a mass of closely entwined roots -- definitely not easy to remove, but how efficient is it as a filter?
Forget rooting depth, think total root mass. The larger a plants rhizosphere (root mass), the more root surface is exposed to the nutrient laden water, thus the more efficient the plant.
 
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Interesting. So doesn't matter the direction I cut as long as the total mass is trimmed.
 

Meyer Jordan

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Root pruning does absolutely nothing positive for a plant. Instead of having energy to support top growth, the energy must be expended first to replace the roots that have been removed. In a 'bog' you want root mass as that is what is removing the Nitrate and Phosphorus from the water, not to mention many other pollutants.
 

addy1

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What do you guys do to a bog in the spring exactly?
I rake the bog, removing dead plant matter, leaves etc. Then take a shovel, hands, pitchfork and yank out about 1/3 of the plants. no real rules.
The yellow flag, I work from the edges and cut out tubers until it is the size I want to keep it at, the small tubers at the edge are easier to remove. Sometimes using the pitch fork to remove/loosen them.
Rush, pitchfork out, take a serrated knife and cut in half. I do not trim roots of any plant.
Water willow I let it just grow, nice root mat. It is mainly in one end of the bog.

Off and on I remove plants by yanking them out. Toss down the hill behind the pond. I attempt to keep my rock path open to be able to walk in the bog.

I leave areas open so the birds can bath.
 
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@addy1 just described my spring routine - although her bog is about 5 times the size of mine! I just look everything in the eye and decide who's scaring me the most and cut them down to size! Irises cannot be ignored - they will dominate. Rushes can also get overgrown, so you want to watch those. I have some dwarf cattails - they are pretty easy to control. Trying to think what else - I discovered some arum growing in my bog the other day. That was a surprise. Lots of watercress. Some water celery. Both easy to keep under control. You'll soon learn which ones need the most attention.
 

Mmathis

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What about: pro's / con's for these? Due to the small-ish nature of the bog, going to narrow it down to just 2 or 3 plant-types....

Arrowhead
Thalia
Horsetail rush
Pickerel rush
Lizards tail
Sweetflag
 

addy1

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Sweetflag, 3ish feet tall spreads via tubers, smells good!.
Lizards tail 2ish feet tall spreads via tubers.
 

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